Southern Co-operatives has expanded its c-store estate with the acquisition of the Davids chain on the Isle of Wight. The deal, which comprises eight stores ranging in size from 1,200sq ft to 3,900sq ft, is expected to be completed by early November.

The society has earmarked £2m to revamp the outlets during 2006. Davids has been in business for 40 years, and Southern Co-op has said all current employees will be retained under the new ownership. Phil Ponsonby, general manager, commercial operations at the society, said: “We believe by providing well equipped local stores with a heavy focus on fresh food, customers will shop locally. We intend to extend this philosophy to the Davids stores and ensure they remain the heart and soul of the communities in which they trade.”

Southern Co-op already operates six stores on the island - at Cowes, Freshwater, Shanklin, Lake, Sandown and Ryde.